The best places to buy Junk Silver coins

Sometimes when accumulating silver you just want stretch your dollar as far as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by buying junk silver. The term ‘junk silver’ applies to government minted coins that are made with 40 to 90 percent silver. These coins have no numismatic value outside of the ‘melt value’ of the silver in the coin.

Collecting silver in this way is ideal for stackers. Junk silver is often the cheapest way to purchase silver on a price per ounce basis, especially if you’re hoping to ‘stack’ as much silver as possible.

Some of the most commonly collected junk silver coins are pre-1965 United State minted coins. This includes:

  • 1878-1904 and 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars.
  • 1921-1928 and 1934-1935 Peace Dollars.
  • 1892-1915 Liberty Head ‘Barber’ Half Dollar.
  • 1916-1947 Walking Liberty Half Dollar.
  • 1948- 1963 Franklin Half Dollar.
  • 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar.
  • 1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollar (40 percent silver.)
  • 1892-1916 Liberty Head ‘Barber Quarter.
  • 1916-1932 Standing Liberty Quarter.
  • 1932,1934-1964 Washington Quarter.
  • 1892-1916 Liberty Head Barber Dime.
  • 1916-1945 Winged Liberty Head Mercury Dime.
  • 1946-1964 Roosevelt Dime
  • 1942-1945 Jefferson Nickel (35 percent silver.)

Now that we know what type of coins to look for, where can we purchase them? There are several places to buy junk silver. The choice really comes down to the amount that you’re looking to purchase and the time that you have to dedicate to the hobby.

  • Online Brokers
  • Pawn Shops
  • Coin Shops
  • Coin Shows
  • eBay

Online brokers

If you’re wanting to make a large purchase that simply isn’t available locally then your best bet might be using an online broker like APMEX.

Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are great for purchasing junk silver coins from. They generally are farily priced as well. The only issue is that many shops have a limited supply at any given time, if any. So it’s best to only use pawn shops for smaller purchases unelss you have extra time to travel to several stores.

Coin Shops

Coin shops are an excellent place to buy junk silver from. Often times you will find a far better selection here as opposed to pawn shops. Smaller coin shops mighy not have huge quantities but often more than enough to fill your order. For a list of reputable coin shops that are dealers of government minted coins click here. (our article)

Coin Shows

Coin and antique shows are another excellent avenue for buying junk silver coins. When large numbers of vendors gather at these types of events you can essentially buy until your heart is content and generally at fair prices.


Auction sites like ebay can be perfect for buying junk silver coins you have to take shipping in consideration especially when buying in bulk. Overall the amount of time and energy saved by simple purchasing off of the internet makes it well worth paying the shipping charges.


In the end there are several ways to acquire junk silver for your portfolio, the choice is up to you. If you have the time to browse you can avoid shipping costs by going to local shows and shops. But if you’re pressed for time and don’t mind the shipping charges then a reputable auction site or online broker might be best for you.

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- Should you sell your silver to a pawn shop or silver broker?

Should you sell your silver to a pawn shop or broker?

junk silver coins
A box of constitutional silver.

For one reason or another the time has come to sell your silver and a whole new series of decisions arise for you to navigate. The choice to sell can be a difficult and intimidating process in a ways that buying silver is not.

You still want comfort and security but most of all achieving maximum return on your investment would be the optimum outcome. How do you sell silver and know that you are getting the best deal? That’s the question that I recently helped someone answer and I thought it would be fun to share the results of our quest.

  • Take inventory of what you’re selling.
  • Consider what you paid for each item.
  • Consider how much your silver will cost to ship and insure before selling.
  • If you’re pressed for time a quick local sell might be best, otherwise selling by selling on eBay you will get the best return possible.

Things to consider

OptionsAmount of workReturn on investmentShipping/Insurance cost
Pawn ShopEasyLowestNo
Online BrokerMediumMediumYes
Coin ShopEasyLowNo
Coin ShowHardHighNo

What are you Selling?

First you need to take inventory of what you’re selling and take the time to look the prices up yourself. There are several different types of silver that you could be trying to sell. It’s important to know that the values of these products varies.

  • Silver Coins
  • Silver Rounds
  • Silver Bars
  • Junk Silver
  • Silver Jewelry

Silver Coins

Government minted silver coins are almost always going to provide the best return on your money. These coins a .999 silver and if kept in the right condition can fetch premiums far over spot price. Take the time to look each of these up individually before selling, this step is extremely important.

Silver Rounds

Silver rounds are often produced by private mints. Popular rounds, like Buffalo’s are generally widely accepted across the industry. One important thing to keep in mind when selling your rounds is that you will generally be quoted a price near spot as opposed to over spot like government minted Silver.

Silver Bars

Bars are similar to rounds in that you will generally receive an off that is near spot price depending on where your selling.

Junk Silver

Junk silver like old coins that contain silver also known as constitutional silver is most often the cheapest way to purchase silver in large quantities. So you should expect to be quoted a price several dollars below spot when selling these old coins.

Silver Jewelry

Selling silver jewelry can be a tricky process. It’s usually not going to return you more than you paid for it. But if you do have some that you was wanting to get rid of than eBay is probably a better route than a pawn shop. Be mindful that some silver jewelry contains real diamonds and other precious stones so these pieces should return more.

Ways to sell

There are numerous ways to sell your bullion including locally, shows and even large online brokers that will purchase your silver.

  • Pawn Shops
  • Large brokers like APMEX
  • Auction sites such as eBay
  • Local coin shops
  • Coin Shows

Pawn Shops

When collecting pawn shops can be one of the best places to acquire silver. With that in mind it makes sense that they are also equally as bad to sell to. Pawn shops often deal with only the spot price when buying and selling metals. So you should expect an offer of 20 percent or more below that.

Online Brokers

Selling to online brokers can be an easy process but does take a bit of preparation. First take the time to write down every piece of silver in your collection. Check the spot price to be sure that your are making a satisfactory profit. Also consider that you will be paying to ship the silver to the broker and this will be expensive. Another optional cost would be insuring your package, this is highly recommended if your are selling over a couple of hundred dollars worth. Most brokers like APMEX will pay you near spot price and even over for high quality gold pieces like American Silver Eagles.

Auction Sites

If you have the time or are just wanting to realize a maximum return on your investment then eBay might be the right choice for you. This process can be time consuming especially when you have to list every item, communicate with potential buyers and ultimately ship the silver. However, by doing the leg work yourself you can often receive top dollar for your silver.

Local Coin Shops

Selling to local coin shops is another good option they generally will pay you less than your silver is worth as well because they have a business to run, but you can expect better returns on government issued silver at these shops. Make sure that you know what you have before going into a coin shop so you can negotiate if needed.

Coin Shows

Selling silver at a coin show can be a great way to receive a fair price for your investment. ther are two ways you can sell at coin shows. One of which is by attending and walking from dealer to dealer and selling your bullion. This is essentially the same as selling to a shop though. However, if you take the time to rent a booth and sell your bullion yourself you could essentially buy and sell as a shop at current market prices.


Like anything else in life you get out of this hobby what you put into it. If you sell quickly at places like coin or pawn shops you will receive less in return. If you take the time to auction your bullion or sell at a coin show you will receive the best return on your investment. Most Online brokers are decent options as well and will generally pay more than a local shop.

Hopefully your better prepared and more confident in your ability to sell your silver. If you’re enjoying our content check out another article- Silver coins, rounds or bars which is best to purchase?

Silver coins, rounds or bars which is best to purchase?

I’ve often wondered whether it really matters if a person buys silver bars, coins or rounds? Considering that the three products usually contain .999 percent pure silver, it can’t be that big of a choice can it? When you really start to dig a little deeper you will see that depending on your collecting strategy, the choices you make can be critical.

I’ve spent the last several hours digging up data from a few different perspectives. Hopefully this article provides some clarity for you when making your decision.

Things to consider

  • Premium over spot price
  • Privacy
  • Accepted and recognized brands
  • Counterfeits
  • Stacking or collecting
  • Long term value
  • Liquidity

Comparing Silver Coins, Rounds and Bars

Premium over spotHighMediumLow
Privacy when buying/sellingYesup to 1,000 ouncesup too 1,000 ounces
Brand recognitionHighMediumLow
Ease to counterfeitLowMediumMedium
Projected valueHighLowLow
Liquidity HighMediumMedium

Silver Coins

When purchasing coins like American Silver Eagles for example you know that you are getting a quality piece of silver that is widely recognized and accepted. This fact alone comes at a premium that is generally far more expensive than that of your average bar.

For the extra money you get the brand recognition and trust associated with government mints. You also receive state of the art security fearures like the new ones being implemented by the U.S. Mint in 2021.

Silver Rounds

A round is basically a bullion coin that has been struck by a private mint. Like bars, rounds are generally struck with their melt value in mind. Rounds hold no monetary value in the sense that government minted silver does.

Silver Bars

Silver bars that are stamped from reputable mints are generally easy to sell around the world. But keep in mind that there are hundreds of brands on the market not every shop is familiar with all of them. The premiums are also far smaller when dealing with bars as opposed to coins.

Government mint versus private mint

When purchasing coins minted by governments you get the peace of mind that the silver is pure and that your actually getting what you purchased. Most private mints offer the same quality but when it comes down to collectability and long term value the bullion stamped by governments will perform better.

Silver coins are also usually legal tender in there respective nations, although it isn’t advisable to use pure silver coins in this manner. For example, one American Silver Eagle will cost you about 25 dollars and can only be redeemed for one dollar worth of goods if spent commercially. Several governments around the world mint their own metals including:

  • U.S. Mint
  • Canadian Mint
  • Austrian Mint
  • Swiss Mint
  • Chinese Mint
  • Mexican Mint
  • New Zealand Mint
  • Australian Mint

Popular Government Issued Silver Coins

Some of the more popular government minted silver coins are:

  • American Silver Eagle
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf
  • Austrian Silver Philharmonic
  • South African Silver Krugerrands
  • Mexican Silver Libertards
  • British Silver Britiannia

Popular Silver Round Products

Some of the more popular silver rounds include:

  • 1 ounce Buffalo Rounds
  • Ampex 1 ounce fine silver rounds
  • Monarch Silver Rounds

Popular Silver Bar Brands

Some of the more reputable names that produce silver bars include:

  • Sunshine Mint
  • PAMP
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Engelhard
  • Metalor
  • Perth Mint

What should you buy coins, rounds or bars?

In the end it all comes down to you and the goals you set when building your precious metals portfolio. Expect to pay more upfront when purchasing coins. But with proper care you should recoup this initial cost and then some if the time comes to sell.

A good rule of thumb is if your acquiring metals strictly for the silver value then collecting rounds and bars are probably the best way to go. However, if your collecting silver for monetary and future value of each piece, then the easy choice is acquiring coins. Whatever you decide make sure you take precautions with your bullion and the time to research how to properly care for, store and secure your investment.

Enjoying our content? Check out another article- Can you store gold and silver together?